US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Monday that Ukraine’s gains over two years of fighting were all in doubt without new US funding, as NATO's chief visited to lobby Congress.

Tens of billions of dollars in US aid has been sent to Ukraine since the invasion in February 2022, but Republican lawmakers have grown reluctant to keep supporting Kyiv, saying it lacks a clear end game as the fighting against President Vladimir Putin's forces grinds on.

As NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg made the case on a visit to Washington, Blinken offered an increasingly dire picture of Ukraine's prospects without US approval of the so-called supplemental funding.

“Without it, simply put, everything that Ukrainians achieved and that we’ve helped them achieve will be in jeopardy,” Blinken told a joint news conference with Stoltenberg. “Absent that supplemental, we’re going to be sending a strong and wrong message to all of our adversaries that we are not serious about the defense of freedom, the defense of democracy,” he said.

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“It will simply reinforce for Vladimir Putin that he can somehow outlast Ukraine and outlast us,” he said.

President Joe Biden has asked Congress to approve $61 billion in new aid to Ukraine.

But the talks have bogged down as Republican lawmakers, furious over record flows of migrants over the US border with Mexico, demand major changes in immigration and border control policy in exchange for approving more money for Ukraine.

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Reflecting on the Feb. 24 second anniversary of the full-scale invasion, the UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that some 3.7 million people remain displaced within Ukraine.

Stoltenberg said he would meet US lawmakers on Tuesday and make the case that support for Ukraine was “in our own security interest.”

“It will be a tragedy for Ukrainians if President Putin wins but it will also make the world more dangerous and all of us more insecure,” Stoltenberg said. “It will embolden other authoritarian leaders -- not only President Putin, but also North Korea, Iran and China to use force," he said.

“Tomorrow it could be Taiwan”

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With many Republicans focused on opposing China, Stoltenberg said: “Today it’s Ukraine; tomorrow it could be Taiwan.”

US and NATO officials have acknowledged limited gains in a counteroffensive launched by Ukraine last year.

But Stoltenberg said that Ukrainians in the longer term have defied expectations, taking back half of the territory seized by Russia which had expected a swift takeover.

“This idea that it doesn't help to help them, actually, the Ukrainians have proved the opposite,” Stoltenberg said.

Stoltenberg earlier met at the Pentagon with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and top US military officer General Charles “CQ” Brown and later at the White House with Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security advisor.

He also appeared on Fox News, a favorite network of Republicans, and made the case that US weapons help US workers as they are made in the United States.

Donald Trump, the likely Republican candidate in the November presidential election, and who has often praised Putin, is urging Republican lawmakers to reject the immigration accord being negotiated in Congress, which would also torpedo aid for Ukraine.

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Comments ( 1)

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darrenpara
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The Republicans will use any excuse. If it was China invading Taiwan, there would be some also fabricated reasoning not to support that fight! Mixing domestic and foreign policy proves this bunch of liars is grabbing at straws!
I still believe the American people will do the right thing in November and not vote Trump into the WH.... If the contrary, then its the fall of Rome and the world just became a very dangerous place!

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